Z-Trip Has Very Fond Memories Of Aussie Festivals & Joe Manganiello's Wedding

20 December 2016 | 10:52 am | Cyclone Wehner

"It kinda had like a 'Mad Max' vibe to it - all these people just raging and going crazy."

Z-Trip (aka Zach Sciacca) is returning to Perth's iconic Breakfest this Boxing Day - a decade after his event premiere. And, even now, the supreme party DJ can still visualise Belvoir Amphitheatre. "How could you not remember that?," Sciacca enthuses. "It kinda had like a Mad Max vibe to it — all these people just raging and going crazy." There's footage of Sciacca's 2006 set on YouTube.

The American has a long association with Australia, joining 2009's Big Day Out. He touts his upcoming tour as "unorthodox" — the run "split" due to a mystery studio session at home.

"He asked me to DJ at his wedding [to Sofia Vergara], so I did that — I went on after Pitbull."

A futuristic turntablist, Sciacca broke out of Phoenix, Arizona in the late '90s. Initially he was pegged as a 'mash-up' pioneer because of his blending hip hop and rock. The "concept" was then "extremely revolutionary", he says. But Sciacca is now wary of the mash-up tag. "I try not to use that word much anymore 'cause, for most people, they look at it and it sort of dates a certain time to them — a timeframe of when this style of mixing came on the scene."

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

For "the Rick Rubin of the DJ world", the mash-up is an ethos rather than a genre — transcending temporality. In 2016 music has fewer "boundaries," yet Sciacca continues to "flip" tracks, subverting context. He might mix Major Lazer with Radiohead. Indeed, it's the age of the curator.

Sciacca has pursued a multi-faceted career as a DJ/producer. He received acclaim for 2005's debut album, Shifting Gears (Chuck D guested). Sciacca cut a rare "sanctioned" Nirvana remix (of Lounge Act) for the video game Skate. Today the San Diego resident is LL Cool J's tour DJ, having first invited the New York MC to perform with him at 2011's SXSW. "The chemistry was so undeniable."

Sciacca's coolest exchange? He was the music supervisor for Joe Manganiello's subcultural La Bare — a documentary about male strippers at a Dallas club that the actor conceived while prepping his role in Magic Mike. The pair had met in Los Angeles, circa 2000, when Manganiello randomly caught Sciacca DJing. Sciacca applied a mixtape approach to La Bare's soundtrack. Screening at Sundance, Manganiello's directorial effort intrigued the media. "I really was able to help take his movie to the next level - and it was great. We've been friends ever since. He asked me to DJ at his wedding [to Sofia Vergara], so I did that — I went on after Pitbull," he laughs. "That was a fun one. But he's a friend for life, he's a homie forever, so any project that he ever reaches out to me on, I'm always gonna help out with. He's got great taste. A lot of people think he's just kind of the beefy, muscle guy, but he's really a super-intelligent music guy. We're always talking about music and figuring out different collaborations and how to expand on that. I know he's got a couple of other projects he's working on as well. But we've talked about doing some other stuff in the future, so we'll see what happens."